The Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest closes on Sunday, Jan. 19, at 11:59 p.m. The contest provides an opportunity for all Case Western Reserve University students, faculty and staff to write and submit original essays in the style of newspaper opinion pieces between 500 and 1,000 words that reflect on the application of King’s values and vision to contemporary social, political and economic issues.
Winning entries will be announced on Jan. 24 at the MLK Convocation, to be held in Amasa Stone Chapel. The prizes for this year are set as follows: four first prizes of $1,000 will be awarded to one faculty member, one staff member, one graduate/professional student and one undergraduate student. Additionally, four runners-up in the categories listed above will receive $500 prizes.
“To honor Dr. King by using his own words and applying them to our modern context makes perfect sense to me,” according to last year’s faculty prize winner, English professor and novelist Thrity Umrigar. “King’s legacy must not be relegated to the history books. Rather, it must remain relevant to our time because that is the true meaning of immortality. And God knows what he tried to teach us remains achingly necessary to learn, even today. Especially today.”
The Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity (OIDEO) has continued the tradition of the MLK Essay Contest, which began in 1992 as a program of Share the Vision. The contest provides an opportunity for the entire university to “reflect and engage in dialogue about the life, the work and the ideas that shaped Dr. King’s commitment to social justice in the United States and around the world,” said Marilyn Sanders Mobley, VP for the Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity.
This year’s MLK Essay Contest is sponsored by the President’s Advisory Council on Minorities, OIDEO, Center for International Affairs, Graduate Student Senate, Cleveland Hillel Center, Office of Multicultural Affairs and Kelvin Smith Library.